Chair of the Oregon Lottery Commission
May 27, 2014
Elisa Dozono J.D. ’06 Chair of the Oregon Lottery Commission Elisa Dozono has never relied on luck to advance her career. Instead, she’s always believed in good old-fashioned hard work—along with highly developed multitasking skills.
Consider for example, when she decided to pursue law school in the mid-2000s. After working a long day as the corporate media manager for the Port of Portland, she would eat a quick TV dinner at her desk, and catch the Pioneer Express bus for her evening law classes. “I wasn’t ready to quit my day job until I had a firm understanding of the law and litigation,” she says.
Dozono is now a partner at Portland’s Miller Nash and chair of the Oregon Lottery Commission. Her early career was in communications. Before working at the port, she served as communications director for former Portland Mayor Vera Katz and media relations director for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. She was also a news producer for Portland’s KATU television.
It was during her final semester at the law school, while preparing for an externship with the Honorable Ann Aiken of the U.S. District Court of Oregon, that Dozono devised a clear analogy between the practice of law and her work in communications.
“Discovery is a lot like public records requests,” she says. “Depositions resemble media interviews. And trial work and litigation mirror a strategic political campaign.”
In her work at Miller Nash, Dozono specializes in litigation involving business law and government relations. She’s well versed in cyber and election law, wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits, real estate and securities litigation, and intellectual property (patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets) disputes.
In 2012, Governor Kitzhaber named Dozono chair of the Oregon Lottery Commission. The five-member commission overseas governance of the lottery, which effectively operates like a large corporation, according to Dozono. The commission’s job is to evaluate and shape policies and procedures, including how generates resources. 2 Mini Dozono Chron: Spring 2014 Appx. Word Count: 568 Pattie Pace
“Oregon’s lottery generates more than $1 billion per year,” she says. “Most profits are used for state economic development, education, and watershed restoration. One percent was approved by voters and earmarked in the state constitution to promote responsible gambling.”
When Dozono is not attending meetings as chair of the lottery commission, a voluntary unpaid position, she’s a passionate public servant who promotes opportunities for women and minorities.
“I’m most proud of my role in helping found two organizations: Emerge Oregon, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, and the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association.” She’s also served on the boards of the Albina Opportunities Corporation, the Cascade AIDS Project, and the Japan America Society of Oregon.
Dozono’s commitment and talents have not gone unnoticed. She’s received numerous honors and awards, including the Rising Star Award from Portland Monthly Magazine, the Pro Bono Challenge Award from the Oregon State Bar, the Women of Influence and 40 Under 40 awards from the Portland Business Journal, and the Judge Learned Hand Emerging Leadership Award from the Oregon Area Jewish Community.
Dozono’s greatest inspiration in life and work came from her maternal grandfather, George Azumano, who recently passed away. “He was a fourth-generation Portlander imprisoned by his country during World War II,” she says. “He came back to the city and built a successful travel business with my dad, while working hard to repair relations between the U.S. and Japan. My sense of civic responsibility comes from him.”